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Urban Meyer talks Ohio State’s 2018 recruiting class and the Early Signing Period

It’s been a busy morning for the Buckeyes, who received 18 signed Letters of Intent before 10 a.m. ET.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Michigan Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State has been BOOOOM-ing this morning.

With the NCAA allowing an Early Signing Period for incoming college football players, the Buckeyes have almost completely filled their 2018 class. When Urban Meyer took to the podium to talk to the media this morning, Ohio State had already received 18 signed National Letters of Intent from players across the country.

The first two players to send in their LOIs were four-star LB Terajada Mitchell and the No. 1 DT in the country, five-star Taron Vincent. The fax machine I’m guessing then exploded, because players were sending in their commitments at record speed.

Here’s what Meyer had to say about the incoming 2018 class, as well as what the team expects over the next two days of the Early Signing Period.

Overall thoughts on the 2018 class

  • He opened by thanking the staff for the urgency they showed the past two weeks. Normally, Meyer keeps things all about the players, but the staff went above and beyond while still trying to prepare for the rivalry game and Big Ten Championship.
  • Meyer said he can’t remember a December like this one in forever. It’s been two weeks of intense travel and in-home visits.
  • The head coach said his process for recruiting changed a lot when his daughter was going through recruitment a few years ago. He learned that it isn’t just about what’s happening with the program, but how they will grow academically and as people.
  • Originally, Meyer was “dead set against” the Early Signing Period, but after seeing the results from this morning, it’s hard to argue that it won’t be beneficial.
  • One of Meyer’s biggest concerns is that the NFL entry deadline is on Jan. 15, so as far as scholarship spots available, the coaching staff isn’t sure yet how many they’ll have. When he’s mentioned that to some of the recruits, at least one told the head coach that another program would pull their offer if he didn’t sign during the Early Signing Period, putting the player and Ohio State in a tough spot.
  • Meyer retorted, “It’s hard to fill a roster when you don’t know who is leaving.” Which is fair.

Overall thoughts on the 2018 class

  • The first thing that he spoke about from the 2018 class was extending a special thanks to the families of the players, noting, “It’s a heck of a group.”
  • Meyer was surprised with how many LOIs the team received this morning, “We did very well, I can’t imagine we would have this number early sign.”
  • The head coach talked QB Matthew Baldwin, and Meyer said from the film, he saw a “dominant performance by a senior.” Meyer also said he respects Baldwin’s decision to stay and play at Lake Travis, a high school that typically sees kids leave for more exposure.
  • Meyer added that Baldwin will be the only QB in the class, meaning that previous commit, Emory Jones, will not be signing with the Buckeyes.
  • One of the latest recruits out of New York, has Meyer excited, “Jeremy Ruckert might be the best tight end I’ve ever seen.”
  • Ohio State nabbed two big-name recruits from Middle Tennessee, Max Wray and Master Teague. Meyer on Wray, said, “We needed tackles,” and on Teague, “He’s big. he’s fast, one of the greatest kids you’ll ever meet, great student, great family”
  • When asked how many spots that OSU would look to fill on the traditional February signing day, and he reiterated that he just didn’t know, because until the NFL entries are complete, he won’t know his final roster number.

Getting players from Ohio

  • Meyer admitted that the coaching staff is a little less worried about losing kids from the state of Ohio once they commit to the Buckeyes, but not by much.
  • He also spoke about how he was expecting the Early Signing Period to really only be tailored to guys like Jaelen Gill who are local prospects and Buckeyes for Life. Fortunately, that doesn’t appear to be the case with LOIs coming in from around the country.
  • Ohio State has had some issue recruiting kids out of the state, including academic issues with a few.
  • Meyer was asked about Jackson Carman out of Fairfield, Ohio and the possibility of losing him to another program, but the Ohio State head coach wasn’t able to discuss.

Other notes

  • Meyer was asked about Larry Johnson’s tweet about staying with the Buckeye coaching staff, and Urban said that he wasn’t aware of the social media drama until the assistant coach told him that he was going to address it. Meyer added that Johnson had a spot on his coaching staff for many years to come.
  • The head coach also lauded his coaching staff as, “the best group of young coaches we’ve had.”
  • That list of coaches includes quarterback coach Ryan Day, who Meyer noted had an opportunity to be a head coach in the SEC, but instead chose to stay and coach at Ohio State.
  • On the self-imposed recruiting violation, “we don’t have many of those here.” He expanded, “I get extremely upset when I see something was done incorrectly, even if it sounds minor, its not minor...everyone in our program should know the rules”